On 22-26 June 2020, the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters met for its 20th session, conducted for the first time entirely virtually. The discussions, in the context of COVID-19, made clear a renewed urgency for strengthened international tax cooperation to support domestic resource mobilization in developing countries and sustainable development globally.
The pandemic has disrupted all countries’ progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development— already being undertaken in the tumultuous context of climate change, human rights crises and resource shortages. Committee members emphasized that enhanced international tax cooperation will be integral to an effective multilateral response to the crises. Global collaboration is essential to address the longstanding challenges of corporate and personal tax avoidance and evasion, while encouraging investment through fair distribution of taxing rights.
The Committee of 25 experts drew upon the work of many more members of its multi-stakeholder Subcommittees. Its session gave confidence that, in international tax cooperation, the UN and its Tax Committee will continue advancing products that constitute key pillars of its ambitious work programme: on tax treaties, transfer pricing, taxation on extractives industries, environmental taxation, dispute avoidance and resolution and taxation of digitalized economy, with special attention to the realities and priorities of developing countries.
Looking ahead, the Committee expressed a strong commitment to its work and ongoing dialogue leading up to its 21st Session this October. Members also stressed the importance of UNDESA’s capacity-building activities, which are being strategically reworked by FSDO and its global and regional partners in light of the pandemic. Knowledge acquired through virtual workshops and online courses on various aspects of tax treaties is certain to assist both COVID-19 response and enduring SDG-oriented development efforts in countries around the world.
Photo: Silvia Fnu